Emissions from firecrackers down by 40 percent during Diwali

Strict orders from the Supreme Court and proper implementation across the country led to reduction in emissions from firecrackers during Diwali 2017. A survey conducted by SAFAR, a central government air quality monitoring agency, has found nearly 50 percent reduction in emissions on October 19, 20 and 21. The Supreme Court announced strict ban on sales of firecrackers.

Also, there was a ban on lighting firecrackers during festivals in terms of timing. Earlier, people continued celebrating and lighting crackers till late night. The study conducted by SAFAR team added that the air quality level returned to pre-Diwali level within three days.

SAFAR project director Gufran Beig informed, “The ban on crackers certainly had an impact. The days that preceded and followed Diwali saw restraint from people. Usually, crackers are set off before and after the actual night of festivities as well. The real impact could be seen on October 20.”

He said the post-Diwali air had also been good as compared to last year as the smoke from stubble burning regions in Punjab and Haryana had not reached Delhi because of the wind direction, which was not the case last year resulting in the worst smog episode that the city witnessed in nearly two decades.

External contributions, such as stubble burning, did not exceed 10 per cent of the total pollution load during this period, the SAFAR report said.